"Skipping", or maybe leaping when speeding up?
He' s always done this, and no one has been able to explain why. No matter if he's standing, walking, or trotting he takes this hop when he speeds up to the next gait. It's more of a straight up then it is forward, but he still get's some distance. It's looks like he's going to skip. He throws his head up and his front feet come off the ground (not much, but they still come off). I'm 100% positive he's not rearing up because he does it when he's just in his pen messing around, and it doesn't look like that. When I lunge him today I'll try to get a video. Does anyone have an idea what this is and how I can stop it?
Hmm, Is his head coming up or is it already up?
It kind of sounds like one of two things:
1. How are you giving him a cue? Is it verbal physical both?
Could it be possible you are kicking him rather than squeezing him? Some horses are super sensitive and even a tap from the heel can cause this sort of jump startle response.
2. Is he nice and round/balanced before you are asking him to pick up a new gait? If he is nice and round he will probably feel more balanced and make a nice transition. If you are not sure try practicing at the walk, asking for a slower vs. faster walk....does he still do it? Or is it only when changing gaits? I would practice asking for collection at the walk and work on a lot of walk trot transitions. It is also really helpful to do half halts at the trot. My guy (ironically named skip) used to have much of the same problems and it was about collection. He still gets a little carried away but by doing half halts it brings his mind and body back into balance.
It could also be that someone in the past may have ridden your horse a little hard and now he anticipates it. Ruling out any kind of health issue I think its pretty safe to say that it is something he was most likely taught or some issue with the riding or cues.
A video would be really helpful!!!!!
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